May 22nd – Many Hands Make Light Work

The net crew: Laurel, Sam, and Anna (right to left). -DOL

It’s an old adage…but true. I had to pull the plug on the banding season as I’m heading out to sea to do seabird counts. In fact, at the moment of writing this, I’m sitting in the living room of my good friend, Gary Maillet, outside St. John’s. Gary is a renowned DFO scientist specializing in plankton. (We’ve had many interesting discussions in which we’ve tried to relate the presence of flocks of phalaropes hundreds of kilometers offshore with planktonic nutrient patches in the ocean.). I’ll board ship tomorrow and we’ll head out for 3 weeks, crossing to Greenland and then back to Halifax, sampling and observing all the way.

Sam entering his census sightings. -DOL

But to get back to the main theme…..the end of the season is a lot of work. Mainly taking down the nets that were so painstakingly put up 7 weeks ago. You can do it single-handed but it’s very difficult – especially in boot-sucking mud. So having a willing crew of volunteers to help out was truly a gift. But before taking down the nets it was business as usual. Sam did a census, we all did net rounds and banded our gleanings. With the 17 we banded, our Spring total for the period ended up at 517.
Banded 17:
1 Warbling Vireo
1 Gray Catbird

One of 3 Cedar Waxwings we banded. Note the red “waxy” tips. -LR

3 Cedar Waxwings

Male Goldfinch inb bright alternate plumage. -LR

2 American Goldfinches
1 Song Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 Red-winged Blackbird

Common Grackles, like this female, just have a mean, menacing look. -LR

1 Common Grackle
1 Common Yellowthroat
4 Yellow Warblers
1 Indigo Bunting

Tree Swallow -LR

Seems to be lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers around. -LR

Species Encountered: 65

The Baltimore Orioles were slow/late getting to our backyard jam feeders. But they’re making up for it now. What marvellous birds to have around the house! -GRL


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